Sunday, May 8, 2016

Awards, Paintings, and Love

This has been such a busy week but full of love and awards for my man!  Tuesday I met up with him at The Virginia Association of School Superintendents in Roanoke for a luncheon where he was honored as the Region 7 Superintendent of the year!  

Mike is incredibly humble and it was hard for him to accept praise for his job well done in our region.  One of his colleagues won the overall State award, but we are so proud of him for doing amazing things here in Region 7.  There are times that I desire a different vocation for him but listening to speeches by passionate educators made me realize that his job as a leader of a public school system is his mission and his way to serve the Lord by providing opportunities for our children right here in Smyth County.

My man!!  He is the  only reason I would wear heels all day long at a fancy luncheon at the Hotel Roanoke.

Here is his good friend, Brian Ratliffe from nearby Washington County introducing Mike. He hit the nail on the head by talking about his integrity :) It was a great day to celebrate public education and a huge thanks to Pops for keeping our kiddos so I can witness Mike receiving his award.

This weekend has been mother's day and it has been awesome.
Hope Madeline made this card for me and it made me laugh!  She loves to shop, but this girl not so much!  What a blessing to be that sweet girls momma.  

I will never know what I did to deserve these three babies!  Motherhood has been my greatest job, hardest struggle, and biggest blessing.  Mothering these three through unexpected life turns has brought me to my knees before the Throne of Christ.  I learned many years ago I am a terrible mother without Him.  My biggest prayer for my children is not that they make loads of money one day or are valedictorians of their classes, but  that they know, love and serve the lord Jesus every day of their lives.  

We had a family Mother's Day gathering last night in Radford and somehow this is the only picture I got of the whole event! Dave certainly loves his Aunt Net Net!! So thankful for my family! 

While we were visiting with family in Radford this gorgeous rainbow appeared in their neighborhood.  Love these reminders of God's promises.  

This morning was a mad rush to get to church on time but we made it!  The last two Wednesday afternoons the children at the church after school program went to the Henderson to paint for their Mommas. This morning they were on display at church and it was amazing!  

David with his painting... 

And little love with hers.  My heart was so full because the children also...
sang in worship this morning and they melted my heart with their sweet voices.
We ended Mother's Day with a silly game of pie face!!

We have felt the love recently, between Mother's Day weekend with family, seeing the childrens paintings they were so proud of, and me watching Mike receive his award from his peers.  I certainly wish time would slow down,,,,, I am certainly enjoying every moment of this blessing called motherhood.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Amazing weekend!

This has been an amazing weekend.  I am absolutely exhausted and have slept weird hours this weekend but it has been all worth it.
Friday night started the weekend out with Hope's spring piano recital.  This little girl rocked it and the whole family came to support her. 
We are so thankful that the amazing Melody Payne is in our daughter's life.  She has instilled a love of piano in her and playing piano has increased her confidence so much!  What a blessing!  After the recital we had a potluck supper and a time of celebration.  It was a wonderful evening.

Saturday morning my alarm went off at 4:15 a.m.  It was super early for a Saturday but for a wonderful cause.  Our county was hosting a Remote Area Medical (RAM) clinic.  I have always wanted to be apart of something like this and this was my chance.  I have no medical skills at all, but I came as a general support volunteer and helped welcome people and helped with the food. 
This is the dental area where many local dentist and hygenists were volunteering their time and skills to serve folks that desperately needed dental care.  RAM offered dental, vision, medical, bone density, mammograms, womens health, all weekend long free of charge.  It was truly life-changing for me and a wonderful experience to be apart of. 
In this trailer folks could get a vision test, and new glasses made on the spot in 8 minutes! 

I felt so honored to be apart of something so amazing as RAM.  Our community raised close to $90,000 for this effort and to see all the professionals and volunteers giving their time made me so Smyth County proud.  As a volunteer I received a text this afternoon that over 773 patients were seen in the three day clinic with over $498,912 in services provided!!!  We are called as the family of God to love others and in the last few days at RAM I witnessed neighbors helping neighbors and it was truly a blessing!  I am exhausted and my legs and back are throbbing from all the standing, but I already cannot wait until next year!

This morning I helped at RAM and I took Hope with me.  She was confused as to why some people had to go to RAM to see Dr.Bill (our dentist) and we went to his office to see him.  I want our kids to understand that we are here to love and serve others.  My heart was so full watching our girl pull a wagon of snack bags around and hand them out to patients waiting in line. 
My pictures are totally out of order, but here is a huge surprise that happened last Thursday.  Several of my preschool parents nominated me for teacher of the month from a local radio station.  Amazingly I won!!  The kids were so excited and I was shocked yet honored. 
After the awesome weekend including piano recital and RAM, tonight we headed to the New River Valley to visit two different Panera bread locations.  They have been doing a change for children campaign where you can round up your order and the change will benefit UVA children's hospital.  the Virginia Panera bread locations have raised over $80,000 and tonight was the meet and greet party!  Tonight we got to visit the Christiansburg location and see David's sign and meet the folks that have been raising money for UVA. They gave David many gifts and were so sweet to him.
After the Christiansburg location we headed to Blackburg where all the associates that work there had formed a line and cheered for David as we walked in. It was precious and so much fun!!!
They presented him with a basketball and a new hat!! It blows my mind that folks that do not know David or even have children of their own yet are passionate about raising money for UVA Children's Hospital?!  It was very awesome!
These two ladies raised the most money at their registers during the campaign! 
Check out this amazing cake!!!  This cake was not only beautiful but it tasted awesome!!! Thank you Panera bread for making us feel so welcome and raising money for a place that saved our son's life! 
After all the partying at Panera we got to catch up with Seth Allen for a few minutes while in Blacksburg.  It was great to see him and it was icing on the cake of a wonderful weekend.  :)

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Full Throttle

April and May are typically very stressful and busy months in our household.  Mike usually has tons of school obligations which keep him out many evenings a week, I am working hard at preschool, and our kids are super busy with their school work and activities.  Anytime my calendar is full and I am tempted to whine, I think of all those days at UVA where I would have loved to have done something besides sit and watch my boys vital signs.  Perspective....
One of the joys of this crazy season for our family is Challenger baseball.  I am in charge, but I rely heavily on my two guys-Mike and Kyle to keep the game running.  I can organize volunteers, set schedules, etc. but I have no skills to teach!  Ha!  Challenger baseball is one of the joys of our lives.  We all love it and love these kids so much. 
With Mike's crazy schedule, Kyle has stepped up big time with Challenger this year.  Middle school years are so challenging, but I see glimmers of the Godly man that Kyle will be and it gives me such hope.  Here he is with his buddy player.  It brings me such joy to see Kyle on the field sharing his love of baseball. 
Each game day all five of us are out on the field and we love it!  Hope helps wherever she is needed and she loves helping the little ones run the bases.  Mike is my umpire and he helps David with all his equipment.  I love watching David play Challenger and give it his all.  God has blessed us with awesome volunteers that show up faithfully to help these kids have a great game day experience. 
This little love is super busy these days prepping for her piano recital and also a dance recital. We did dance pictures this week and what an experience that was! 
Kyle has been working hard on his basketball in the off-season. 
It is also SOL test season for our boys.  Hope is not old enough to take any yet, but the boys are working hard.  Dave has yet to pass one SOL but bless him, he works so hard preparing.  Today our Dave brought home a certificate for the A/B honor roll. To see how excited and proud he was over that certificate made me want to weep.  I know that he has had lots of accommodations to make that happen in his regular education classroom, but kudos to his teacher and special ed teacher for working hard to meet his needs in the classroom and making him feel so smart.  My heart overflows thinking of what our public educators do on a regular basis for kids.  They are superheroes.  Here is Kyle helping David study for an SOL. 
We have also had a little time for some fun hiking with friends.  We have been so thankful for these gorgeous days and time with friends. 

I am so thankful that when life is full throttle and I am tempted to pout I remember that there were many days during treatment that my day was wide open except for watching David and worrying.  I will take a full schedule over lonely hospital days anytime!

Recently I was blessed to be able to speak at a Women of Valor conference.  It continues to blow my mind to see how God has worked in our life and how I am now being given opportunities to tell others how God showed up during the hardest days of our lives.  I never take those opportunities lightly and I am always blessed by these conferences.  I never want to stop bragging on how God has blessed our family.  Some may look at us with a special needs child who also got stage IV cancer and feel pity for us, but I feel so amazed that we got to witness so many amazing acts of God.  When he was all we had, he showed up in ways we could not have imagined. 

Sorry it has been a while since I have posted.  I promise I will do better!  May God bless you!